Anthony Lawrence II scored a career-high 25 points, including 15 in the first half, as the Miami Hurricanes defeated the host Virginia Tech Hokies 84-75 in an ACC game on Saturday afternoon.
Lawrence also had 13 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double.
Virginia Tech trailed for most of the game, with Miami leading by as many as 16 points. The Hokies cut the deficit to 66-63 with 3:51 remaining, but Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV answered with a 3-pointer and then a jumper to keep Virginia Tech from getting closer.
Walker finished with 14 points, including eight in the second half. In the final two minutes, he took two full-court passes from Lawrence and converted both into points.
Dejan Vasiljevic scored nine of his 14 points in the first half for Miami (17-5, 6-4).
It was an important win for the Hurricanes, who have the nation’s No. 24 RPI and NCAA Tournament aspirations.
Virginia Tech (16-7, 5-5) had its three-game win streak snapped. The Hokies were led by Justin Robinson’s 22 points and Justin Bibbs’ 16 points. Freshman guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half for the Hokies, who entered the game with the nation’s No. 29 RPI.
The Hurricanes were without combo guard Bruce Brown, who leads the team in assists and rebounds and is second in scoring. It was announced on Tuesday that he will miss six weeks due to an injury to his left foot.
With Brown out, the Hurricanes got unexpected contributions. Three-point specialist Vasiljevic, for example, drove for three first-half layups, something he hadn’t done all season.
Another major surprise for Miami was the use of 7-foot sophomore center Rodney Miller, who entered the game having scored only 10 points all season in just 32 overall minutes. On Saturday, he finished with two points in four first-half minutes.
—Field Level Media